One of the most frequent questions we receive at Fast Buds is, "how do I store my seeds?" Whether it's the cold season or there's just not enough room in the tent, sometimes you need to stash your beans until a more opportune time comes along.
Fast Buds' seeds will keep for years under the proper conditions. Below, you'll find a list of the most important things to remember when stashing your seeds for long-term storage.
Keep them dark
The two greatest dangers to your seeds are light and moisture. We'll start off discussing the former. To keep your seeds dormant, and prevent premature germination, keep them away from bright spaces. A little bit of ambient light for a few hours is not the end of the world, but under no circumstances, should they be exposed to direct sunlight. If the UV rays of the sun can burn a human, imagine what they do to the DNA packed inside a fragile, little seed. We recommend placing your seeds inside a box and then placing that box in a dark cupboard or drawer.
Keep them dry
Humidity is the number one seed killer. Keeping them in a dark, wet space is how we trigger germination. So, if you're following keeping them in a dark place (you are, aren't you), even a little bit of excess moisture can result in a catastrophic mess.
Your box and dark drawer or cupboard should protect your seeds from outside moisture, but what about the water already in the air? You can use silica packets to dry the air near your seeds. One small, 0.5-gram packet for every three seeds should be more than enough.
Some seed-owners go the extra mile and only use food grade silica when storing seeds. This is probably overkill (unless you're opening the desiccant packages and spreading them over your seeds- you're not, are you?) but there's nothing wrong with taking a little extra peace of mind by only using the safest supplies available.
3. Keep them cool
The Fast Buds FAQ recommends storing your seeds at 8-12 ºC (45-55 ºF). That's a little bit below the temperature most of like to keep our homes, so it's likely you'll need some refrigeration.
This is one of the fridges that we use to keep our inventory fresh. As you can see from the LED indicator, it's exactly 8ºC, and stores seeds and only seeds. By comparison, your fridge at home holds a lot more. All that food wreaks havoc with the moisture and humidity, so while your kitchen fridge may be cool and dark, it can quickly grow dank and humid enough to damage your seeds.
If you're going to use a fridge to store your seeds, make sure they're stored in away from anything like fresh vegetables that will leak water into the air. Whatever you do, do not store them in the vegetable crisper, it's designed to hold onto humidity, which is exactly what you don't want.
3. Keep the temperature stable
You might not have a spare fridge to keep your seeds. If that's the case, keep them in the driest, coolest place in the house, and don't move them. Keeping the temperature stable is more important than storing them in a specific range. If the seeds are regularly fluctuating in temperature, so is the water contained within them and in the air around them. Preventing moisture from being gained and lost is the number one thing you can do to preserve your seeds.
4. Keep them clean
Though they contain no psychoactive chemicals, seeds are a staple food for many groups around the world, particularly in south-east Asia. Though Fast Buds' customers rarely order their seeds to eat, their edibility does impact how you store them because humans aren't the only ones that find cannabis seeds delicious. Both insects and rodents will happily chow down on a cache of seeds, and they won't even stop to appreciate those fine autoflowering genetics. Ensure your storage place is clean, with nothing else present that might attract a hungry rat or roach. As an extra precaution, you can sprinkle some safe, and non-toxic, diatomaceous earth around your storage vessel to keep the bugs away. Rats and other rodents are a bit more complicated, but using a metal storage container with an easily-secured latch will keep most rodents at bay.
Following these four steps should keep your investment safe for years to come. If you're someone who has kept seeds preserved before, and you think there's something we missed, don't hesitate to share your wisdom with us in the comments below.